Here in the "Old Pueblo" we have a good many mud adobe structures, some dating back as far as the 1800's. In recent years these historical homes have been in such demand that they are being bought up by big money and restored. One of the problems with mud adobe is getting a panel to "stick" on the outside wall. The ancient original services were so tiny that a board with 6 or 8" nails driven at angles was a sufficient mounting surface. But try hanging a 40/40 200 amp meter combo with an overhead service drop!
So far I have: 1. ran allthread thru the wall and bolted it on the inside and 2. Drilled out the mounting holes then twist the drill around to make a cone shaped hole, smaller at the surface, so a large toggle bolt will grab hold. For the mast we drill thru the parapet and use allthread and a large steel plate on the backside.
My question is for those who have dealt with real mud adobe, if you have any tricks or ideas that might help to secure a panel to the exterior wall. I am thinking of using epoxy to anchor some long 1/4" bolts facing out, then return the next day and mount up 2 pieces of unistrut & bolting the panel to the strut. I also thought of building a 4x4 and plywood stand like a temp service but that is a lot of work, especially with the ground out here being very hard to dig.
So it would be great if anyone has any tricks or ideas to offer.......
Larry Fine came up with the solution, drill all the way thru, then use allthread and fender washers recessed into the wall on the inside and patch over them with plaster. I will let you know how it works since I have one next week. The job is usually worth about $1,800.
I'm in Northern New Mexico and have to deal with similar buildings. Through bolting when practical is best. Depending on the adobe, sometimes long wood screws or 1/4 lags will hold amazingly well. I use a piece of shallow strut with as many 10" lags as it takes. If they hit a void move over and try again. Never tried epoxy.
Search for my "Today at Work..." post in the Photos Submitted for Discussion Forum for some pictures you can relate to. This was a service change the homeowner got a start on.
I think I'd almost ask the AHJ for an allowance to mount a meter base (and possibly the panel)on a pillar or other independent support next to the original building, rather than mess with that type of construction.
I think your epoxy idea will work well for the panel. As it will be dependant on the shear value of the bolt, rather than pull out strength. However for an over-head mast, that is another story... Your current solution sounds best.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
"What wiring methods do you use inside?? IS everything surface mounted?"
Walrus, the older ones are wired with BX channelled into the mud then patched over. If they were build before about 1930 they usually have K & T in the attic and BX added later. Some have firred walls. For new construction we are allowed to use UF cable in the mud or joints. Usually only the outside walls are adobe, so interior wiring is inside the partition walls. The structures that still exist from the 1800's have all the walls made of mud, built with no electricity or running water. I've seen lots of "creative" methods used to bring electricity into these structures.
Just run the lags right into the adobe, hot dipped galvanized preferred. You would be amazed how well they bite into the mud. Here in New Mexico we have to run UF in the adobe walls, real pain in the caboose. And so much fun cutting those channels in a remodel with the electric chain saw, can you say dust mask.